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12 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend, 27 Mar. 2012
I was hooked from the first page...... This short story hits the ground running - I couldn't put it down and didn't until I had finished it. My mistake was reading it in the middle of the night....creepy. A very human story of loss and loneliness told with a supernatural element. A very atmospheric, good old fashioned ghost story with an ending I wasn't expecting.

*I received a copy free in exchange for an honest review and I have no hesitation in highly recommending this if you enjoy a good haunting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Horror Of Grief, 24 Mar. 2012
By 
J. Everington (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great novella from Mark West - ostensibly a horror story, it is as much about the dislocation of the death of a loved one, and the resulting grief, as it is about the supernatural. Although the supernatural element is there and the book is genuinely creepy in places.

West writes about his character's feelings really well - at times this was a heart-wrenching read. It is paced really well, with no extra fat on the meat of the story, making its bleak story feel even more dark and unremitting. The ending really works well to bring both the realistic and supernatural elements together into a climax that is pitch-perfect, and haunting in more than one sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breif Grief, 4 July 2013
This review is from: The Mill (Paperback)
This is a short book concering a grieving widower failing to come to terms with his loss. The small town autuminal setting is the perfect backdrop for the story which packs a powerful and unexpeted emotional punch. I was expecting to read an escapist horror about a haunted mill but the emotional drama really caught me off guard and I found the descriptions of grief (the empty days, the protagonist being taunted by his memories) very moving. 'The Mill' is one of those books that's an undiscovered gem of a read and the length is perfect for the story. I found the ending a bit of a downer but it's a horror story (or is it?)so I wasn't expecting fluffy bunnies at the end. 'The Mill' fits in well with the latest generation of horror writers like Gary McMahon and Adam Nevil. This is character driven and intelligent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Souls, 6 Feb. 2012
This is a wonderful, bleak, scary and ultimately devastating novelette. Mark West is a very good writer indeed, and he succeeds in getting under your skin, making you feel deeply for his characters. Here we follow Michael, left lost, damaged and alone after the death of his wife, Nicola. In his grief he latches on to another lost soul, Saskia, and together they try to come to terms with their loss, whilst simultaneously trying to unlock the mystery of their recurring dreams of an old, ruined mill.

Mark West writes with great sensitivity, and the very real horror of Micheal's life is both terrible and poignant, and convincingly portrayed. This is the real thing, like the story's been ripped weeping and bleeding from the writer's heart. At times it reads like an old fashioned ghost story: the horror quiet and restrained, creepy and insidious:

"Something reflected in the water and caught his eye. He looked down and saw himself and the head of a person who appeared to be standing to his right. It was there and then suddenly gone. The shock of seeing it seemed to fill his head with pins and needles and he fought for a moment to catch his breath. Instinctively, he looked around but he was alone on the wall.
This was too much. "Who's there?" he called, looking along the tree line, hoping to catch a glimpse of the person in white again. "Who is it?""

If you like your horror fiction intelligent, gripping and genuinely unsettling, then a visit to Mark West's 'The Mill' is for you. If, however, you're of a fragile and nervous disposition, then stay well, well away...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of The Mill, please..., 12 Oct. 2014
Creating a story that not only chills you, but grabs at your heartstrings, is a real challenge. Mark West has done just that in this tale of loss and separation - and in not overdoing the horror element, he makes it all the more effective. This is a beautifully written and well-structured novella that stands alone as a satisfying read, but I became so involved with the characters that I wanted to know more. Michael, the hero and Saskia, who react to bereavement in different but equally heart-rending ways, are people you don't forget. I really, really want to see The Mill developed into a full-length novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked, worried and crying, 12 July 2013
By 
G. Shutt "fibrochimp" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mill (Paperback)
A horror with a heart. This story is as much about grief as it is a tale of horror. You don't know how much is the protagonist's mind playing tricks because of his heartbreaking loss and how much is the reality of something being seriously wrong. You get so caught up in the story you'll find it hard to leave it behind at the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and emotional, 16 Dec. 2013
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I bought this e-book last year and have just returned to give it a second reading. It must be the weather or the time of year, but I fancied reading a slice of horror. This novelette didn't disappoint. Ever since Mark West released Strange Tales, I knew he would be a writer to keep an eye out for.

The Mill ticks all the boxes: chilling, emotional, with characters you care enough about to want to read on.

Am very much looking forward to reading the novel he is currently working on.

Highly recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mill - Mark West, 25 Sept. 2013
By 
lucie Wheeler (essex) - See all my reviews
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I am not a reader of the horror genre. Not because I don't like it, but simply because I never really choose to read it - there's always books on my 'To Be Read' pile to get on with.

So when I was recommended this story, I thought it would be a nice way to ease myself into the genre. I didn't bank on becoming totally immersed in the story and not being able to put it down!

I read the opening chapter one evening when I had a spare few minutes, vowing to sit down properly the next day when I had more time - but I couldn't wait to read a quick snippet so I did just that. When I sat down the following day, I didn't close the story again until I was finished. It wasn't out of choice, my brain just wouldn't let me.

Mark has a wonderful way with words and manages to draw the reader in and not let them go again. The Mill is not just a horror story, but a story that deals with the very harrowing emotion that is grief. He writes with expertise and precision and captures the feeling and emotion of the story incredibly well.

A fantastic story with very real characters - a definite recommendation from me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Emotional Supernatural Tale, 31 Dec. 2011
Sometimes the best horror fiction is hard to read. And by hard to read I don't mean because of the writing style and language used. I mean it should grab one of your base emotions and wrestle it to the floor. Mark West's The Mill does this with great style. We have all lost someone, we have all felt the emotions associated with loss. It's a common feeling that lingers with you for the rest of your life. Mark has created a an amazing novellette, that is packed with more emotion and feeling than you could imagine would be possible in a story of this length . This is a powerfully moving story that will tug at your heart strings and stay with you long after you have finished reading it.The writing beautifully conveys the feeling of loss and hopelessness that one feels after losing a loved one. The Mill has one of those endings that will have you smiling and shedding a tear at the same time. Well I did and if you don't you must have a heart of stone. The Mill, cements Mark West's place in the ranks of the new wave of quality UK horror authors, who are turning out intelligent, thought provoking and extremely well written stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Read, 12 Nov. 2011
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Over the last twelve months I have rekindled my interested in reading short stories. I've been lucky enough to read some marvelous anthologies and some fantastic stand-alone work. I was first exposed to Mark's writing when a read the anthology Ill at Ease. I thoroughly enjoyed his entry Come See My House In The Pretty Town. I recently got the opportunity to read another one of his short stories, The Mill.

It has always struck me that sadness and grief can be incredibly difficult emotions to convey in writing. When it is successful, however, it can produce work that is not only incredibly effective but also deeply moving. Personally I have only come across writing like this a few times in the past, I think I am going to have to include Mark West on this very short list. The reader gets glimpses of the emotional turmoil that surrounds Michael at every turn. With the death of his wife he has been set adrift in his life and he is unsure how to move on.

As Michael's fragile emotional state continues to unravel he is drawn to a derelict building on the outskirts of town. Does the Mill act as a doorway to his lost love or is he losing his mind?

The story's conclusion ends on a bittersweet note that perfectly captures the overall tone of the piece. I was impressed that West's writing manages to be both upliftingly happy and in the same moment breathtakingly sad.

The Mill is a short, poignant exploration of a man dealing with the devastating loss of his partner. The supernatural elements are subtly blended into the story, and never feel forced. West treats what could be difficult subject matter with a delicate, reverential touch and it shows. Subtle and affecting, this is a captivating read.
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The Mill
The Mill by Mark West (Paperback - 3 May 2012)
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